The Real Thing

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Overview


You may already know that Belgium is the most boring country on planet Earth, but do you know why? Or what makes the Mark 44, Model O Lazy Dog Missile Cluster, the sexiest piece of military hardware on wheels? Or how LSD edged out all contenders as the Platonic Ideal of illicit drugs?

From cities to sitcoms, from scotch to soda, from English monarchs to French movies, The Real Thing is a compendium of the quintessential, providing definitive answers to some of the most compelling questions of our time: What confection out-cholesterols the competition? Why is The Country Club the country club? Which Charlie Chan proved the least scrutable?

Author Kurt Andersen’s pithy pronouncements sparkle with wit, sophistication, and a healthy dose of skeptical good humor as he strips world culture of accumulated hype and accepted wisdom, laying bare the sine qua nons and the ne plus ultras in a sassy series of satirical essays that give credit where credit is due while simultaneously foreclosing on the bogus, the ersatz, the would-be, and the has-been. The Real Thing is the real thing. These days, that’s really something.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
"As if Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett weren't enough in the way of humor, the state of Nebraska has now given us Kurt Andersen. As his debut in adult public life-unless you happen to count being an editor of the Harvard Lampoon part of adult public life-Mr. Andersen has written The Real Thing. . . . It can be very witty, as well as a number of other things."

— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

New York Times - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

“As if Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett weren’t enough in the way of humor, the state of Nebraska has now given us Kurt Andersen. As his debut in adult public life—unless you happen to count being an editor of the Harvard Lampoon part of adult public life—Mr. Andersen has written The Real Thing. . . . It can be very witty, as well as a number of other things.”—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803220553
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen is a novelist whose works include Heyday and Turn of the Century, and he is the cocreator and host of the public radio program Studio 360. He began his career as a journalist, worked as a columnist for Time and the New Yorker, cofounded and coedited Spy magazine, and served as editor in chief of New York magazine.
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